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Swedish Ordinance on the Limitation of Terms of Protection, Stockholm (1841)

Source: Swensk Författnings-Samling, No. 71, 1841. Kongl. Maj:ts och Riksens Ständers faststälde Tryckfrihets-förordning; Dat. Örebro den 16 Julii 1812. Med de derefter, och sist wid Riksdagen i Stockholm åren 1840 och 1841, af Konungens och Riksens Ständer antagna förändringar. Location: National Archives of Sweden.

Swedish Ordinance on the Limitation of Terms of Protection, Stockholm (1841), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer, www.copyrighthistory.org

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1841. No. 71.

Swedish Legal Compilation.

Royal Majesty's and the Estates of the Realm's Established FREEDOM OF THE PRESS ORDINANCE.

Dated Örebro, 16 July 1812.

With the subsequent changes, and lastly at the Riksdag in Stockholm in the years 1840 and 1841, adopted by the King and the Estates of the Realm.

We, CARL, by the Grace of God, King of Sweden, Goths, and Vandals, Duke of Schleswig, Holstein, Stormarn, and Dithmarschen, Count of Oldenburg and Delmenhorst, etc., make it known: that since the Estates of the Realm, now assembled, have unanimously decided to amend the previously applicable Freedom of the Press Ordinance of 9 March 1810, in certain respects, and this thus amended law has been submitted for Our gracious approval, We, by virtue of the authority conferred upon Us by section 85 of


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the Instrument of Government, have chosen to adopt, approve, and confirm this Freedom of the Press Ordinance, as consented to by the Estates of the Realm, in the following manner:


We, the undersigned Estates of the Swedish Realm, Counts, Barons, Bishops, Nobility, Clergy, Burghers, and Common People, presently assembled here in Örebro for an Extraordinary Riksdag, wish to make it known: that in accordance with the principles set forth in the Instrument of Government adopted by Us on June 6, 1809, and subsequently approved by the King and the Estates, the freedom of the press has been granted to the Swedish people, as stipulated in the 86th section of the said Constitution: 'Freedom of the press shall mean the right of every Swedish citizen to, without any obstacles imposed by the public authorities, publish his or her thoughts in print. Preliminary censorship and other preventive measures shall not be used unless the content would violate the law and endanger the safety of the State. Should this occur, any such preventive measure may be cited in court.' We hereby declare that every person is free and entitled to express his thoughts openly and freely on any subject, in any form of writing, while adhering to the limitations and restrictions on the abuse of this freedom, as outlined below, in accordance with the general laws of the realm. This freedom of expression applies to matters concerning the internal peace and external security of the State, as well as other matters,


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without regard to whether they pertain to the present or the past, living individuals or the deceased. In consequence of this, and to fulfil the obligations placed upon those who may be called upon to legally assess violations of this freedom of the press, we have deemed it necessary to safeguard the innocence of all citizens who may be subject to such proceedings. To this end, and in order to secure freedom of the press in a manner consistent with the rights of civil society and the legitimate demands of every citizen, we hereby establish and decree the following regulations:


Section 1

All previously existing laws, provisions, and regulations concerning freedom of the press or book trade are hereby repealed. Consequently, all previous specific prohibitions on the publication of certain books, writings, and documents are also null and void. These shall not be subject to prosecution except as prescribed by this Freedom of the Press Act.

The term 'writing' as used in this Act shall mean everything that is presented to the public by means of printing. The term 'periodical writing' shall mean one which is published in numerical order or at specified intervals.


2. No prior examination of writings or any prohibition against their printing shall take place. Nor shall any writing be required to be submitted to the printer, publisher, or author before its publication, nor shall any oversight over printing houses or authors and publishers prejudicial to printing and publishing be permitted. Provided, however, that the old rights of institutions of learning to oversee and approve such works as are to be publicly defended in their lecture halls shall remain in force.


3. No privileges for the publication of writings, of whatever form and nature they may be, shall be required henceforth; the right to publication by printing shall be free, without any such privilege,


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but the previously acquired exclusive right shall remain intact. Such exclusive right shall not henceforth be granted for a longer time than twenty years. Already granted exclusive rights shall remain in force for the lifetime of the recipient alone. Privileges for the publication of writings granted for the support of public institutions shall not be valid for a longer time than twenty years, reckoned from the date of this law, but it shall remain with His Majesty the King to renew them each time for a period not exceeding twenty years.


4. The publisher of a newspaper or periodical shall register, along with the title and place of printing, with the Minister of Justice, who has the authority, unless the applicant has been convicted of a disgraceful crime or declared unworthy to act as an agent for others, to issue a certificate that there is no impediment to the publication of the writing.


5. Privileges for printing presses shall not be required, but everyone is free to establish such printing presses, of whatever nature or size they may be, without being subject to any particular regulation, older privileges, or any printing press regulations, and without being bound by any guild rules, within a city or within a distance from it of at most half a Swedish mile (3 km).

When a printing press is thus established outside a city, all cases related to printing, whether involving the printer, workers in the printing press, or the authors and publishers of printed works, shall be under the jurisdiction of the city.

When a new printing press is established, it is required that, at least thirty days before any publication is issued from it, notice shall be given in writing to both the municipal authority of the city where the printing press is established and to the royal officer in charge of the city. Neglecting to do so shall incur a penalty of one hundred Riksdalers, and the offense shall be published in the newspapers. If any illegal work is published from a printing press that has not been properly reported as prescribed, both the unlawful printer and the author


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shall be subject to the same penalties and responsibilities for the content and text of the publication, and the printing press shall be forfeited to the prosecutor. Once the establishment of a printing press has been reported to the King's county governor, it shall be his duty to promptly inform the Minister of Justice.


6. Authors are not obliged to have their names printed on their works. Whether they wish to remain anonymous or not, they are required to provide the printer with a sealed document containing their name and place of residence, accompanied by a written certificate attesting to the accuracy of this information, issued by two well-known Swedish citizens residing in Sweden. These individuals shall assume responsibility for the authorship if the publication is brought to trial within the legal time frame, and the author's name and residence is found to be inaccurately provided in the sealed document or if the document is missing the author's name and residence, or if the author, without legal excuse, fails to appear in court. If a printer discloses an author's name and residence when not legally required by the judge, he shall be fined two hundred Riksdalers, and his offense shall be published in the newspapers.


7. The person who publishes a foreigner's work or a translation thereof, or an inland author's work who has not indicated their name, shall have the same rights, obligations, and responsibilities as an author in all cases where this Law does not state otherwise. Publishers of newspapers and periodical publications shall always, in terms of responsibility, be considered as authors, and it is incumbent upon them, under equal obligation, to ensure that the conditions further stipulated in this Law are strictly observed during their publication.


8. At the beginning of the trial, the printer is obliged to submit the author's name to the court. In any other case, he shall bear the responsibility of the author unless the author voluntarily discloses themselves to the judge. When it concerns proceedings against newspapers or periodical publications, the name of the publisher shall be disclosed by the Minister of Justice following the aforementioned notification. The judge has the right to immediately open the name's envelope after it has been submitted and thereby reveal the true party to the court.


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If, at the end of the trial, the judge finds that the prosecutor initiated the proceedings in an unjust case, resulting in the breaking of the name seal, the prosecutor shall be liable to a fine of One Hundred Riksdalers.


If a printer affixes the names to a publication without the permission of the author or publisher, they shall be punished in accordance with Chapter 8, Section 3 of the Penal Code.

If a printer affixes the names to a publication without the permission of the author or publisher, they shall be punished in accordance with Chapter 8, Section 3 of the Penal Code.


Every publication shall be the property of the author or his lawful holder. However, if the author's heirs or lawful holders do not exercise the publishing rights within twenty years from the author's death, and if such exercise is not renewed by them every twentieth year, anyone may openly publish the writings left by the author. Anyone who prints or reprints a publication without the written consent of the author, or their lawful holder shall forfeit the entire edition, or pay a fine equal to its value, to the owner.

The same law shall apply if anyone prints or reprints the translation of a foreign publication prepared by another person, or presents their translation as the work of someone else. However, the ownership rights of the translator shall not prevent anyone else from publishing another translation of the same publication.

The publisher of newspapers and periodicals has not violated the author's ownership rights when publishing anonymous writings submitted to them. Anyone who fraudulently puts a false title page or incorrect author or publisher name on a publication shall be punished according to Chapter 8 of the Penal Code. The use of a fictitious name that does not identify an actual person is not prohibited when the true author's name has been provided.


10. On each publication, the Printer's name, place of printing, and the year must be stated. If a Printer neglects such requirements, they shall be fined three hundred Riksdalers for the first time and six hundred Riksdalers for the second time. If it happens for the third time, they shall forfeit their Printing Office. If someone falsely attributes a printed work to a Printer or wrongly indicates the place of printing, they shall also be subject to the provisions


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of Chapter 8, Section 3, of the Criminal Code. However, what is stipulated here about the inclusion of names and locations does not apply to notifications, mourning letters, forms, or transaction records of similar nature.


11. For everything that is printed, the Printer is obliged to remove from the edition and deliver without charge as many copies as the Minister of Justice, the Universities within the Realm, the Royal Library, the National Archives, and the Academy of Sciences may require, each of them. If any work is accompanied by expensive plates, such plates must be provided unconditionally only to the Royal Library.


12. There shall be no hindrance to the pursuit of bookselling, nor for the publication for sale of any work, whether it is domestic or foreign. Every Author or Publisher shall be free to sell, either personally or through others, a work that belongs to them by virtue of such a capacity. However, anyone who intends to engage in bookselling or sell books either in an open shop or otherwise and who has the right to make an announcement thereof in the Public Newspapers shall be prohibited, in the manner prescribed for the establishment of Printing Houses, and subject to the same responsibility, from making a notification thereof to the Minister of Justice. There shall be no other hindrances to the continued sale of a work than those prescribed in Section 4 of this Law.


If anyone sells a printed work on which the Printer's name, place of printing, or the year is not indicated, they shall be fined Fifty Riksdalers for each instance and shall be subject, in case the work is prosecuted, to the responsibility of the author if neither the Printer nor the Author can be identified.


Section 2

1. In accordance with the established principles of general and lawful freedom of the press laid down herein, every Author shall be free, subject to the reservations stipulated in Section 3 below, to publish their thoughts in print on any subject that is or may become a matter of human knowledge.


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2. For each subject, the style of writing shall be at the discretion of each Author, while the responsibility for it, as determined below, shall apply in cases where it is marked as scandalous or defamatory.


3. In accordance with what is stipulated in Sections 1, 3, 4, and 9, Paragraph 3, every Author or Publisher shall be allowed to disseminate Writings of any form, size, or nature, under the sole condition of respect for others' property rights.


In accordance with what is stipulated in Section 1, Paragraph 3, every Author or Publisher shall be allowed, for the purpose of securing the Publisher's rights, subject to the exceptions and conditions stipulated below, to expressly publish, in public print, all matters, whether they concern legal proceedings, other general issues related to documents, protocols, and decisions, of whatever name or nature they may be, whether they pertain to past events or matters that may arise in the future, be they before the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, the Lower Judicial Revision, the General Preparation, the Higher and Lower Courts, Committees, Preparations, Directorates, Commissions, Administrations, the King's Commanders, Consistories, Execution Seats, or other Public Works, without distinction of the nature of the cases, whether civil, criminal, economic, military, or ecclesiastical; furthermore, all previously or currently valid instructions, constitutions, regulations, statutes, ordinances, privileges, rescripts, and general provisions, issued from wherever they may originate, together with all the relations of higher and lower courts, colleges, offices, public corporations, and all officials and servants, as well as memorials and official letters; finally, all memorials, applications, proposals, reports, complaints, along with decisions and responses thereto, of societies and institutions, as well as individual persons, in the relevant parts thereof that pertain to the handling by public officials and institutions.


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To this end, not only should all such documents be immediately and without delay handed over to anyone who requests them, whether they have a stake in the matter or not, under the same liability as for the neglect of duty, if such a request is refused or unduly delayed by any public servant, but also, under the same liability, free access should be provided in all archives to obtain, either by copying on the spot or by obtaining a witnessed copy, against proper compensation, all kinds of documents on any subject whatsoever.

In the previous permissions, the following exceptions must be observed unconditionally:

The minutes held at the King's Ministerial Affairs and Command Cases, or the Council of State's minutes and documents, or the Estates of the Realm, or the Secret Committee, or the Constitutional Committee regarding the Council of State, or the works of the National Debt Office and State Committees, or Auditors of the National Debt Office concerning the secret matters of the same works, cannot be demanded for printing or obtained without the consent of the concerned parties. If such documents are published without the consent of the concerned parties, the publisher shall be punished according to the general law and specific regulations. If someone else does it, they shall be fined one hundred Riksdalers or more depending on the nature of the offense. The same penalty shall apply to anyone who unlawfully publishes the aforementioned documents through printing, provided that the custody of these documents was entrusted to them, but they were not previously prohibited from revealing them under any specific higher responsibility.

No ministerial documents or private notes or reports of diplomatic persons on ministerial matters, which relate to a later period than at least fifty years ago, can be disseminated without the government's consent. Also, private letters should not be disseminated


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unless they are essential for a legal case, and deposits of writings and documents entrusted to public custody should not be disseminated without the consent of those to whom the said letters or deposits pertain. Anyone who violates this shall be fined fifty Riksdalers.

In any legal case, a party may be allowed to, before a judgment or decision has been reached, freely publish their submissions, complaints, and accusations through print, as they wish. However, such a party is also obliged to make public the opposing party's explanations, along with the court's opinions on them and the individual votes of the court members, through print, ensuring that everything related to a complete understanding of the case itself, its proceedings, and the grounds for the decision, is made known to the public. Nonetheless, no one should be considered obliged to disseminate other documents than those absolutely necessary for this purpose, and the determination of what is indispensable shall rest with the judge in whose court the case is pending, subject to legal responsibility if there is a deviation from the clear intent and provisions of this law. Anyone who violates this shall be fined fifty Riksdalers.

It shall also be allowed for anyone who has a matter or any other issue concerning their rights, whether before the King in His Supreme Court or any other court or public institution, to have information about it printed, or to obtain a Species Facti (a specific statement of facts) on the condition that they adhere to truth and decency. Anyone who violates this shall be fined thirty-three Riksdalers and sixteen Skillingar.

Protocols and documents in settled criminal cases may not be published without the mutual consent of the parties while they are alive, or, if the parties are deceased, not until fifty years after their death. Anyone who violates this shall be fined thirty-three Riksdalers and sixteen Skillingar.

No one shall be allowed to issue, disseminate, or publish excerpts from Church records or other documents related to the care of souls and Church discipline concerning the lives and conduct of individual persons,


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except as provided by the general laws and currently applicable regulations, if it could harm or discredit them. Anyone who violates this shall be fined thirty-three Riksdalers and sixteen Skillingar.

That which concerns obscenities, or greatly wounds modesty, or contains blasphemies against God, or lewd expressions about the present authorities of the Realm, or what could have been included in such documents, untimely, offensively, or disparagingly, may not be published in them under a penalty of thirty-three Riksdalers and sixteen Skillingar, unless in the case of the last-named category, the submission would be deemed necessary by the Judge who last decided the case, for the elucidation and confirmation of the main issue itself.

Moreover, and lest it becomes too extensive to enumerate all possible subjects, cases, and matters with precision, it shall be free for everyone to make publicly known in print everything not expressly prohibited in this Law; consequently, nothing that pertains to permissible subjects in this Law shall be considered punishable, under the pretext of being insulting or disparaging, provided that it does not manifestly appear as defamatory or scandalous in writing, with responsibility as prescribed in this Law.


Section 3

Under the specified conditions, when examining a writing or the responsibility for it, those responsible for such examination, in cases that appear ambiguous, should be more inclined to acquit than to condemn. They should always pay more attention to the legality of the subject and thought rather than the expression, to the intent of the writing rather than the style, and in all cases, they should refrain from drawing indefinite conclusions from the expressions, as it shall be considered an abuse of Freedom of the Press.


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1. Blasphemy against God; The offense shall be punished as stated in Chapter 1, Section 1, of the General Criminal Code, and the writing shall be confiscated.


2. Denial of a God and life after this, or of the pure Evangelical Doctrine; The offender shall be considered as stated in Chapter 1, Section 4, of the General Criminal Code, and the writing shall be confiscated.


3. Mockery of the Public Worship, the Word of God, and the Sacraments; The offense shall be punished with a fine of one hundred Riksdalers, and the writing shall be confiscated.


4. All kinds of offensive expressions about the reigning King's High Person or deeds, or His Consort, the Queen, or the designated Heir to the Throne; The offense shall be punished according to Chapter 5, Section 1 of the Criminal Code, and the writing shall be confiscated.


5. Defamatory expressions against any of the other members of the reigning Royal Family who hold Royal or Princely dignity within the Realm; The offense shall be punished with a fine of one hundred Riksdalers, and the writing shall be confiscated.


6. Defamatory expressions about the Estates of the Realm or any of their Divisions; The offense shall be punished with a fine of one hundred Riksdalers, and the writing shall be confiscated.


7. Incitement to mutiny or rebellion; The offense shall be punished according to Chapter 6 of the Criminal Code, and the writing shall be confiscated.


8. Defamatory expressions about the state's officials and servants in the performance of their duties. The offense shall be punished according to the General Law.


9. Defamatory, offensive, or discord-inciting comments and expressions about contemporary nations or states with which the kingdom is in peaceful relations, about their reigning authorities, government and governance, high officials and ambassadors, domestic or foreign affairs, initiatives, or undertakings. The offense shall be punished according to Chapter 6, Section 5 of the Criminal Code,


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in conjunction with the Royal Ordinance of 20 January 1779, and the publication shall be confiscated. If the publication is not defamatory or offensive but reveals misconduct with a foreign power, it may be confiscated without a trial.


10. All printing of matters concerning the state's ongoing negotiations with foreign powers or decisions and intentions attributed to the King in connection with them, as well as the actions of the King, in conjunction with them, their official functions, ministers, councillors, and ambassadors, unless done with the government's consent or official permission. The offense shall be punished in accordance with what is stated in the previous section. If such disclosure is made by someone entrusted with the secrets of the King and the state, the offense shall be punished under Chapter 4, Section 5 of the Criminal Code, and in both cases, the publication shall be confiscated.


11. Attacks on private individuals that concern their honour or are derogatory to their civil names and reputations. The offense shall be punished according to Chapter 60 of the Criminal Code, and in addition, the publication shall be confiscated.


12. False statements and distorted representations intended to deceive and mislead the public. The offenses shall be penalized with fines ranging from 33 Riksdaler and 16 Skillingar to 100 Riksdaler, and the publication shall be confiscated.


13. The desecration of morals, whether through public teachings promoting any vice, especially those that offend modesty, or through explicit and scandalous depictions of the practice of such vices that encourage a depraved way of life. The offense shall be penalized with fines ranging from 50 to 100 Riksdalers, and the publication shall be confiscated.

As a general rule, with regard to confiscated publications, nothing more of them may be reprinted than what the court that last judged the case did not deem criminal.


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Section 4

With regard to the supervision of the lawful dissemination of publications, the following provisions shall apply:


1. The Minister of Justice shall have the authority to oversee the dissemination of publications both within the capital city and in other locations, either personally or through duly appointed agents, in accordance with the provisions outlined below.


2. To further this purpose, it is hereby mandated that, without delay, but no later than when a publication is issued for sale or distribution in any way, one copy shall be submitted in Stockholm to the Minister of Justice and in any other location to his appointed agents. Printers who neglect this provision shall be fined fifty Riksdalers each time, and if they print the same without being provided with proof of notification from the Minister of Justice through a newspaper or periodical, they shall be fined one hundred Riksdalers, and the publication shall not be distributed until the publisher has complied with the aforementioned requirements regarding it.


3. In all cases where prosecution is instituted by a public prosecutor pursuant to Section 2, paragraph 4, and Section 3, the Minister of Justice or his agents shall have the right to place a publication under seizure when they deem it necessary. The seizure shall be carried out within eight days, and one month after the date when the seizure was made in the provinces, the Minister of Justice shall communicate his approval or revocation thereof to the agent. If no seizure has been made in the capital within eight days or if the Minister of Justice's approval


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has not been received within one month in the provinces, the seizure may not be enforced except after a legal tribunal and the Freedom of the Press Committee have given their opinion. However, in all cases where the Minister of Justice finds offenses against this Law, whether or not a seizure has taken place, or where only personal injuries are concerned, whether for the sole purpose of maintaining order or for providing compensation to the injured party, it shall be the responsibility of the Minister of Justice, whether he has found that a seizure has occurred or not, to immediately and directly submit the publication to the Chancellor of Justice for legal action.


4. As matters of order, the following shall be counted: if, in the establishment of a printing press, what is stipulated in Section 1, paragraph 5, is neglected, or if a printer fails to include his name, place of printing, and year of publication on the publication, as required by Section 1, paragraph 10, or if he does not deliver a printed publication to the Minister of Justice or his agents within the specified time, as required by Section 1, paragraph 12, or if publications are sold against the provisions of Section 1, paragraph 12, where the printer's name, place of printing, or year is not specified.


In these cases, the Minister of Justice has the authority, in accordance with what is stipulated in this law, to immediately impose a fine on the offender. However, the offender may also, if he deems himself justified, submit a submissive complaint to the King through the Justice Revisions Office, in Stockholm within fifteen days and in the countryside within one month, after he has received clear notice of the Minister of Justice's decision. Otherwise, matters of order are nothing other than economic matters that, according to any future Printing and Publishing Regulations, may fall under the purview of the Minister of Justice and do not lead to a violation of any provision in this law.


5. As soon as a violation of this law has been reported by the Minister of Justice to the Justice Chancellor, it is the responsibility of the latter to immediately have the offense prosecuted by an appointed prosecutor before the appropriate court. Furthermore, the Justice Chancellor should also, on his own behalf, through the appointed agents, exercise proper oversight over the legal use of freedom of the press. Similarly, the Justice Ombudsman is obligated, with regard to violations of this law, to provide his official intervention in accordance with the principles prescribed in the instructions concerning his handling of other cases. In cases of personal insult,


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the aggrieved party has the right to prosecute either personally or through an agent.


6. After six months have passed since a document was submitted to the Minister of Justice or his representative according to the preceding 2nd paragraph, no public prosecutor may bring an action concerning it. An individual shall enjoy, according to general law, the right to assert his claim in cases in which he has been personally insulted by the publication. If a document has been subjected to a quarantine, action shall be taken against the document within eight days in the capital and, in other locations, eight days after the approval of the quarantine by the Minister of Justice becomes known. Otherwise, the quarantine shall be lifted, and the sale of the document shall proceed unhindered.


7. The publisher of daily newspapers and periodic publications, who, as stated in § 1, paragraph 7, is solely responsible for author liability, should be more aware than others of the proper use of freedom of the press. If the publisher's offense is proven, it shall be punished twofold in all cases where a fine is imposed.


8. If the Minister of Justice, in consultation with the Chancellor of Justice, deems a daily newspaper or periodic publication to be harmful to public safety, or without cause and evidence of personal offense, or of a persistently defamatory nature, he may immediately suspend the further publication of the daily newspaper or periodic publication, in Stockholm through the Office of the Governor-General, and in other places through the King's Local Authorities. The suspension should last until, after submitting a respectful notification to His Majesty, which should take place within eight days after the Minister of Justice has been informed of the suspension's execution, His Majesty in the Council of State has decided whether the continuation of the suspended publication should be allowed. It is up to His Majesty's Grace to decide whether the publisher of a publication that has been thus confiscated may publish any other daily newspaper or periodic publication in the future.


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9. Confiscation or suppression shall not apply to a larger part of a publication than the page, half-page, or tome on which the charges are based.


10. Anyone found to have sold or distributed a publication that has been lawfully suppressed or confiscated, shall, in all such cases where they had knowledge of the suppression or should have had knowledge, be subject to the same liability as the author and shall be punished for the offense on the same grounds. Interference with suppression, when there has been no sale or distribution as a result, shall be penalized in accordance with Chapter 8, Section 5 of the Enforcement Code.


11. In relation to the sale and distribution of publications received from abroad in the Swedish language, the Chancellor of Justice (Justitie-Stats-Ministeren) shall have the same rights and responsibilities as with publications printed within the realm. Those who distribute such publications are subject to the same obligation and liability as stipulated in Paragraph 2 of this section for printers within the kingdom.


12. If the Chancellor of Justice finds that a publication from abroad, written in a foreign language, contains content that violates Sections 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, and 13 of this law, it is his duty to, after imposing an initial restraint, seek His Majesty the King's instructions on whether the publication should be released for distribution or remain under further restraint. To achieve this, anyone who becomes aware of such publications may provide a list of these imported foreign publications through a submission to the Chancellor of Justice or his representatives. Should any such publication be placed under restraint, the Chancellor of Justice shall humbly seek His Majesty the King's instructions on whether the publication should be released for distribution or remain under further restraint. It shall be at the discretion of the King to determine whether and to what extent compensation from state funds shall be awarded to the bookseller.


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Section 5

5.     The legality of the content of the accused printed publications shall henceforth always be judged by a Jury or Panel consisting of Nine Persons, who shall convene at the court where crimes against this Law are prosecuted, and where the investigation shall be completed through questioning of the Parties, the Prosecutor’s final claim, and the statement of the accused.


2. Thereafter, the Parties may each choose Four and the Court Five individuals, a total of Thirteen, residing in the city or nearby area, well-known for their civic virtues. After being declared impartial by the Court according to the Law, one person nominated by each Party and one person nominated by the Court must be excluded by both Parties without stated reasons.


3. After reducing the number of Jurors to Nine members in the manner described above, they shall be summoned by the Court to a set date when they shall take the following oath before the Court:

“I beseech Almighty God! You behold my heart; nothing is hidden from Your all-seeing eye. May Your goodness and merciful grace be eternally sealed to me if I conceal my conviction in this matter. I, N. N., therefore, swear by God and His holy Gospel that I shall render my judgment in this case to the best of my understanding and conscience, and that whatever is said during deliberation shall be held in unbreakable silence by me.”


4. Along with a brief and precisely formulated written summary of the nature and status of the case, the judge should then present this question to the jury: Is the publication criminal according to the provisions of the law that the prosecutor has invoked? The jury should not be separated until they have voted on this question with a yes or no, after the presiding judge and the members of the court have left. To find the accused guilty, at least two-thirds of the votes are required; otherwise, the accused shall be acquitted.


5. In connection with this, after receiving information about the jury’s decision, the court should immediately announce a verdict to the parties,


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including either the punishment to which the guilty party is liable or the compensation to which the wrongfully accused party may be entitled.


6. Violations of this law shall be handled in Stockholm by the Chamber Courts, but in all other cities, they shall be handled by the Municipal Court in the city where the printing press from which the accused publication originated is located or as outlined in section 1, has been reported during prosecution. The jurisdiction of the Academies shall remain intact according to their Constitutions. The time for issuing summons shall be the same in all cases, and it shall be handled as if the summons time were in the city, in accordance with the law. If there is a question regarding the liability of a printer or author for a printed publication, they shall personally appear before such a court, but otherwise, they shall enjoy their legal procedural rights according to general law and special regulations, in everything that is not expressly stated differently in this ordinance.


7. Once the opinion of the Jury has been obtained, the judge shall examine and decide on the matter, and submit their ruling to the Court of Appeals for review, as prescribed in Chapter 25, Section 5 of the Code of Judicial Procedure. In all cases, the documents in freedom of the press cases shall be submitted by the Lower Court to the Court of Appeals.


8. If the Minister of Justice or their representatives find it justified to order or request the seizure of a printed work due to the grounds for seizure stated in the sections above, they shall be entitled, in Stockholm with the assistance of the Office of the Chief Constable and in other cities and places as stipulated in Section 1, to obtain such seizure without undue delay, which shall not be refused by the Magistrate under whose jurisdiction the printing house falls, as stipulated in Section 1. The course of events during the seizure process, as well as the reasons for it and, regarding the accused work, the number of copies still in the possession of the printer, shall be noted in writing threefold,


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of which one copy shall be sent to the Minister of Justice or their representatives, one to the Magistrate, and one to the printer. The Magistrate is obliged, as a matter of negligence, to send a copy of this record to the Chancellor of Justice within the next available mail. In Stockholm, the same record shall be sent to the Chancellor of Justice immediately or at the latest by the end of the following day. The Chancellor of Justice may subsequently, within eight days in Stockholm and, at the latest, within three weeks in other places from the moment the seizure was executed, have the case transferred to the appropriate court and appoint a prosecutor, when the court, within eight days at the latest, must decide whether the seizure should be maintained. If the seizure is not upheld, and within one month, no appeal is submitted, the printer is entitled to demand compensation for damages in the same manner as if the matter had proceeded to trial, as provided by law. The Minister of Justice or their representatives do not have the authority to order or further handle a seizure differently than stipulated above, but shall immediately refer the entire matter to the Chancellor of Justice for further administrative measures and responsibilities in accordance with this law and general law. If a printed work is reported to the Chancellor of Justice as permissible, they shall, within fourteen days, prepare for the case to be heard before the proper court, through a prosecutor appointed by them. However, the Chancellor of Justice shall not order any prior seizure without the hearing and approval of the Minister of Justice or their representatives. If the case comes before a proper court and seizure of the work is requested by the prosecutor, the court shall issue its decision within eight days. Nonetheless, if it can be done without delay, an